Decisions, Decisions – Ever Felt There Was Something Missing?

Amid this fast moving world of BI there are a lot of things on the agenda. BI integration with Portals, Operational BI, events, scorecards, text analytics, enterprise data management, master data management, SOA, process management….etc, etc. With so much on the ‘to do’ list it is not surprising that some of us might miss a little piece of the puzzle that doesn’t get a lot of air play. Any guesses? Well I would like to make a stand for rules engines. What about the business rules….we use them in deciding on business process behaviour, we use them to route messages on a service bus, we use them to decide how to present data on the screen and we use them for decision making. So where are they? For most of us they are locked away buried in our application logic, and for financial services perhaps in some batch decisioning systems. Yet if there is one thing we need to do it is to separate the rules from the systems that need them – especially in BI. The reason is because they change and in many cases quite often. If we introduce a rules server then we can define business rules that can test BI and help us make decisions.


As we enter the world of automated decisions to assist us in business automation this is one piece of technology we really need. But look beyond BI. You can use this SAME technology for dynamically changing process execution behaviour, for master data synchronisation, alerting and automated action taking and a whole host of other things. Some interesting vendors out there include Corticon, Fair Isaac Blaze Advisor, ILog, PegaSystems and SAS . In addition you can use also find open source rules engines such as the Drools Engine from JBoss. Combing rules engines with scoring models in a workflow can prove very powerful. While many of these vendors are focussed on process management their role in automated decision making is just as useful. If you are using rules in automated decision making to improve business performance and optimisation let me know at


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